One day, I was buying some fruit and vegetables at the market with my Dutch friends. Done with groceries, we decided to have coffee at a café nearby. Suddenly one of my friends stopped to check her pockets for her wallet. She found nothing and went pale. Then she tried again and after some minutes, she found what she was looking for: a tiny wallet with an ATM card inside. No cash, not even a cent.
In Wageningen I rarely see anyone carrying a ‘proper’ wallet, one with cash in it and lots of cards. It surprised me at first, since back in Indonesia, I used to take my wallet everywhere and anytime, full of bank notes, coins, and many cards such as an ATM card, my driving license, student card, hospital card, and membership or discount cards for stores, the library, the skin center, the sports centre, etc. In total, I carry 18 cards around in my wallet. So I have to use a big bag if I want to carry anything else too. Not to mention that if I want to carry coins as well, I have to put them in a separate pouch.
Here, I don’t need to carry all that around with me. All I need to bring is my student card and pinpas, as non-cash payment is accepted almost everywhere. What surprises me most is that even at the market, most of the stalls welcome non-cash payment. So a tiny pouch is my mate during my time in the Netherlands. I only need to bring my old big wallet when I travel to other cities, so I can take along my ov-chipkaart and residence permit.
This is what I love most about living in Wageningen, a small city yet so peaceful. I love the simplicities, like my tiny, cute pouch. Goodbye heavy wallet!
Atina Rosydiana, an MSc student of International Development Studies, from Indonesia
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